Drive Happiness Seniors Association is a non-profit association with the purpose of assisting seniors in to maintain an independent lifestyle that enables them to remain in their own homes. Seniors value their independence, but lose that independence when they can no longer drive or access transportation to go shopping, banking, reach clinics or the many other required services to stay in their own homes.
In 1998, advocates in Southwest Edmonton saw that seniors needing assistance with transportation could be served by connecting volunteer drivers with seniors who were willing to pay a small fee to receive rides. That year, a committee was formed, office space and furnishings were provided free of charge by Lifestyle Options, by-laws were written and finally on February 6, 2002 Lifestyle Helping Hands Seniors Association became a registered Corporation of Alberta. Volunteers gave their talents, skills and time to organize the office, Southminster Steinhauer United Church provided funding for one year of telephone service, Duggan Seniors Resource Centre composed and printed brochures, volunteer drivers came forward, a home care coordinator and Edmonton social workers provided counselling. The association provided transportation where needed, screened list for home care, snow shovelling and yard maintenance. A grant from Wild Rose, donations, memberships, and casinos provided funds.
In June of 2009 Whitemud Crossing Lifestyle Options burned, and LHHSA’s office space, furnishings, computer, records lay in wreckage of ashes and water. Service to seniors did not stop for a day. The Coordinator, Doreen Armstrong, working from her own home office and telephone, used Telus answering service to relay riders’ requests for assistance to volunteer drivers who carried on. There began a daunting search for office space in Southwest Edmonton while volunteers began a piece by piece retrieval and restructuring of form. In September 2009, Southminster Steinhauer United Church provided a small office that, until Summer 2019, Drive Happiness occupied.
In April 2016, the membership of Lifestyle Helping Hands Seniors Association voted to change the name of the organization to Drive Happiness Seniors Association. In June 2018, that name change was accepted by the Government of Alberta.
The amazing demographic changes pose a rapidly growing demand for more space, more trained staff, and ever more volunteer drivers. Seniors strive to remain independent. Drive Happiness Seniors Association strives to assist them.